The history of our lodge is contemporaneous with our local Jewish community and reflects its life as it was established and developed during that period of time. It was not until the beginning of this century that the Jew made any inroads into the population and life of Springfield. The new century brought with it a large influx of immigrants, who quickly adjusted themselves to a new way of life, a life of opportunity and freedom. Benevolence and charity was to become an integral part of their life and that could be practiced by concerted effort through the lodge on December 21, 1902. It was then called City of Homes Lodge, No. 317 Independent Order of Brith Abraham. Meyer Ganz was its first president. This marked a new era in the life of our Jewish community. The founders of our lodge established a firm groundwork for the future by their loyalty and devotion to the cause for which our lodge was created. They gave aid to their fellow members, the sick and distressed, fostered and nurtured all charitable causes. In 1906, our lodge established its own Free Loan Association so that its members could be helped in time of need. Our membership grew rapidly. In 1910, the largest class in our history was inducted into membership numbering 150 candidates. The class included most of our leading business and professional men, who soon assumed leadership in our organization and steered the lodge to higher levels. In 1915, the United Hebrew Charities later called The Jewish Social Service Bureau was founded in the floor of our lodge room. Our members were the guiding factors of this institution for many years. In 1918, land was purchased for the establishment of the City of Homes Cemetery which has been gradually developed to make it one of the finest in the city. The burial privileges afforded our members and the service given by our Chevrah Kadisha in time of bereavement is without parallel for its dignity and freedom from financial obligations.
In 1919, our members were not satisfied with the existing state affairs in the parent organization. Under the prevailing tax system, they foresaw financial stagnation, stultified growth under such heavy burdens. They resolved to withdraw from I.O.B.A. and on September 15, 1919, a new independent corporation was created called Independent City of Homes Association. On November 23, 1919, all members of record of City of Homes Lodge, No. 317, I.O.B.A. were transferred to membership in our present association. The wisdom of such withdrawal was readily manifested by the rapid growth of membership and the crystallization of a sound financial institution. Our dedication to communal causes continued unabated. Among our many benefactions, we recall the large sums of money we raised toward the maintenance of the Hebrew Free School, over a period of many years. During the Depression years, we again came to the aid of members who needed temporary relief and means for rehabilitation. During the the war years, our service committees worked zealously and patriotically and we helped our members in the armed forces to retain their affiliation with the lodge as fully paid up members during their entire period of service. During the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, we were fortunate not to lose any of our members. The years have gone by and we must now examine ourselves in retrospect. We must remember at all times that we are fundamentally a fraternal benefit corporation governed by the laws of our commonwealth pertaining to such organizations. We are committed to definite financial obligations to every one of our members. Our primary duty is to make sure that all our members shall receive all the benefits that they are entitled to. Our lodge was founded for that purpose. It must follow that path as a sacred trust. Times have changed and we have modernized our lodge without losing our traditions. In 2011, our bylaws were amended to allow women of ages 18 to 60, membership.